Blencathra - the Saddleback

Submitted by Timwoods on 28 August 2009
OS Explorer Map: OL5 - The English Lakes: NE area
 
(16 votes)
A circular, full-day mountain (above 600m) walk in national park Lake District (England) starting at Threlkeld, Cumbria, about 8km (roughly 5 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
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Of all the northern fells in the Lakes, Blencathra is undoubtedly one of the finest. There's something for everyone here - an easy and enjoyable hill walk for families, the classic scramble on Sharp Edge for those who like a challenge, and the finest pub the Lakes for when you finish in Threlkeld. This walk starts and finishes in Threlkeld, and takes the walking way up. If you want to do Sharp Edge, ask the bus driver nicely if you can get off near Scales Farm.
Start: Threlkeld, OS Grid: NY325254
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 763m (2505ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 1522m (4994ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 758m (2489ft)
Max. Elevation: 830m (2723ft)

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Waypoints
OS Grid: NY324254
From the village, head for the hamlet of Gategill, just northeast. There is a footpath starting opposite the first road junction.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NY332266
From Gategill, a small track takes you underneath the imposing southern face of Blencathra. Don't worry - the route up is easier than it looks from here!
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NY329277
From the farm, take the path heading up Doddick Fell. Head west when you get to the top of the ridge.
OS Grid: NY324277
The official summit of Blencathra! But it's really more of a summit plateau than a pointy top, so have a little wander over to Atkinson Pike and the view down Sharp Edge. Tempting for another day...?
About 2 km (roughly 1 miles) from 4 OS Grid: NY311268
To descend, head along the southern edge of the plateau towards Blease Fell. From here you can pick up the track heading towards Blease Farm and continue into Threlkeld.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 5 OS Grid: NY322254
The final stage provides the day's biggest challenge - which pub to head for? Opinion is divided among walkers, but either The Salutation Arms or the Horse and Farrier will be able to provide you with a delicious local beer (Jennings). Enjoy!
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